The recent shenanigans by politicians, who have been prostituting with the lives of poor desperate Zimbabweans, is a clear, but disturbing, sign that it is about time that the masses seriously considered an alternative system to governance that excludes these power-hungry, self-centred people.
By Tendai Ruben Mbofana
News reports about former First Lady Grace Mugabe, probably, with the blessings of her ousted husband, joining hands with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru — who, only three years ago, the duo had unceremoniously dismissed from both the ruling Zanu PF party and government — left me with a bitterness in my mouth that quashed any ounce of respect I had left for politicians.
Rewind back to that time when Grace and her husband were busy riding roughshod over Mujuru, humiliating and vilifying her at every turn —with now President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as their ally.
Yet, when they succeeded in removing Mujuru from the Vice-President post, and replaced her with Mnangagwa, he quickly became the Mugabes’ number one foe — they sought to purge him as well, succeeding last year in November, only for him to bounce back a week later together with military bouncers to claim the ultimate prize — the Presidency.
Now that Mnangagwa is the head of the country and the Mugabes have been ousted, they have resolved to re-join forces with the lady they themselves ousted only three years ago, so as to remove the new President.
Can Grace tell the nation if Mujuru is no longer corrupt, and all the other things she accused her of?
As for Mujuru, what has now changed with Grace — and her husband — especially, as you were now so critical of them in your new role as an opposition leader?
When former President Robert Mugabe apparently apologised to Mujuru, did Grace explain her accusations to her?
If these people were always on the sane side, but were just fighting for power, so who were the innocent victims here?
Can politics truly be perceived as a game, especially when real human lives — those of the ordinary suffering people of Zimbabwe — are involved?
This is enough to send anyone’s mind into a vicious tailspin — trying to understand this is akin to attempting to grasp the plot of those soapies our mothers used to enjoy, like Dallas, Dynasty, Bold and Beautiful or Days of Our Lives.
Yet, this soap opera is not really a television drama, but real live, with real people, who are made to suffer by these politicians.
Yet, this is not only confined to Zanu PF, but the opposition is far from being spared.
When the MDC was formed in 1999, only a few years later, cracks began to emerge with allegations that their leader Morgan Tsvangirai was a dictator, who could disregard the party constitution whenever he felt necessary.
The first to part ways with Tsvangirai was a group led by Welshman Ncube, who was then secretary-general.
Similarly, soon after the MDC’s defeat by Zanu PF in the 2013 elections, another group led by Tendai Biti (also then secretary-general) broke ranks with Tsvangirai — citing the same reasons that he was a tyrant and incompetent leader.
However, as Zimbabwe heads for this year’s crucial elections, these “foes” have decided to bury the hatchet and join hands in an alliance headed by none other than the tyrant they proclaimed — Tsvangirai.
As I listened to Ncube and Biti speaking at the weekend — during their alliance rally — I could not help find it comical how suddenly they were back to their early 2000 selves, where they would be exhorting the virtues of Tsvangirai.
As much as the people of Zimbabwe have had enough of Zanu PF-induced poverty and suffering due to its misrule, brutality and corruption, one can not help ask one very important question, especially to Biti and Ncube: Is Tsvangirai now a reformed democrat, who respects the constitution and is open to leadership renewal?
As far as I am concerned, it is pointless to replace an incompetent tyrant with another — the same reason I have rejected Mnangagwa’s presidency as a positive alternative to Mugabe.
Having disparaged Tsvangirai as an unworthy leader for all these years, why the sudden U-turn by Biti and Ncube? Is it all for their own political expediency, as replacing one dictator with another is surely not good for the majority of Zimbabweans — as we might celebrate the removal of Zanu PF today, but will most definitely be crying tomorrow?
Thus, is all this worth it?
I am reminded of what happened to me in 2007, when Zanu PF was desperate for members — in readiness for the 2008 elections — and embarked on a door-to-door recruitment drive.
They knew very well that I was an anti-Zanu PF activist and writer, yet they came to my home and offered me the position of the local branch secretary.
They assured me — as the country was in the midst of devastating economic problems — that accepting this position would not only guarantee me a road to power — especially, considering that our clan was settled in Zvimba, the home of Mugabe — but, there would also be access to certain financial and economic “fringe benefits”.
I was amazed as to the extent of Zanu PF’s desperation, as they clearly knew they were courting a foe.
How did they know that I would not be a spy for the opposition, or sow seeds of discord so as to destroy the party from within?
Needless to say, I did not take up their offer, as I am guided by strong principles, which cannot be sacrificed at the altar of the Devil — whether it means living in abject poverty, and at the lowest echelons of society.
I also never joined the opposition for the very same reason, as I believe they are not genuinely here for the best interests of the suffering people, but self-aggrandisement and power.
Is it then any wonder as to the numerous internal squabbles, purges and splits in both the ruling and opposition parties — yet, at the prospect of power and wealth, they suddenly work together, and all serious allegations of corruption, tyranny, incompetence are forgotten?
So, are these parties willing to work with corrupt, tyrannical, and incompetent people, just so as to grab power and wealth?
My “wealth” and “power” comes from the joy of fulfilling my God-given mission — serving, standing, and speaking up for the oppressed people of Zimbabwe, no matter what!
So, why are politicians more than prepared to sell their souls to the devil, just for power and wealth, yet knowing fully well that what they are doing has nothing to do with improving the welfare of the ordinary people?
Why is it so easy for some people to con the already suffering people of Zimbabwe — similar to stealing from a beggar’s bowl —just so as to add to their already hefty pockets?
Is it not time that the people rejected politicians?
Globally, politicians have always been an untrustworthy group — with numerous jokes about them — yet, it has never ceased to amaze me why the world has not come up with a different government system that excludes them, for instance, a meritocracy or technocracy.
As much as the origins of democracy were a necessity — as a way out of the brutal, greedy and grossly autocratic monarchies — politicians have, over the course of history, perverted this institution to such an extent that they have become similar, if not worse, that those kings and queens they were meant to replace.
Politicians have become so corrupted with power that they no longer serve the people, but have seen this “profession” as easy pickings to swindle and abuse the very ones they are supposed to protect — more like a father who rapes his own daughters.
It has become the playing ground of all the world’s crooks and scoundrels — the very people one would never trust with even a dollar.
We now need to put our heads together and come up with a new system of government that is completely different from how we have been doing things since the dawn of democracy.
It is now pointless to believe that there are any honest politicians out there.
If the world could come up with the “democracy” system after thousands of years of monarchies, it is not too much to believe that we can invent another system that best suits the ordinary people.
A system that genuinely puts the ordinary people first!
Understandably, the world has experimented with such systems as communism and socialism, but as we all witnessed, it only created worse oppressors than were in the capitalist democracies.
Needless to say, we cannot stop brainstorming because our very lives are at stake — as we have painfully experienced, democracy is now just an over-glorified kleptocracy.
Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author and speaker. He is also the Programmes Director with the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.